On July 5, 2018, the Schlanger Law Group LLP and Syracuse-based Law Offices of Anthony J. Pietrafesa filed a class action lawsuit against the Law Offices of Steven Cohen LLC, Steven Cohen, and Velocity Investments LLC. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleges that the defendants routinely engage in post-judgment collection of alleged debts without providing the notice required by section 1692(g) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
The named plaintiff, James M. Shutter, alleges that defendant Velocity Investments LLC retained Steven Cohen and the Law Offices of Steven Cohen LLC to pursue collection of a default judgment entered against Mr. Shutter and in favor of Velocity. The Cohen firm had not represented Velocity prior to entry of the default judgment.
Section 1692(g) of the FDCPA requires that a debt collector pursuing collection of an alleged consumer debt provide the consumer with a written notification within five days of initial contact. The statute sets forth specific information that must be included in the notice, including:
- The amount of the debt;
- The name of the creditor to whom the debt is allegedly owed;
- A statement regarding the consumer’s right to dispute the debt within 30 days;
- A statement describing the process that will follow if the consumer timely disputes the debt; and
- A statement that the debt collector will provide the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor, and if the consumer so requests in writing within the 30-day period
However, according to Mr. Shutter, the Cohen firm provided no such notice when it attempted to garnish his wages.
The lawsuit alleges that this is standard practice for the Cohen firm in collecting debts on behalf of Velocity, and that both the law firm and the debt buyer have violated the FDCPA with regard to hundreds or thousands of other New York consumers.
If you have been sued by the Law Offices of Steven Cohen LLC in connection with a debt allegedly owed to Velocity Investments LLC and did not receive a notice as described above when collection activities commenced, contact us at 212-500-6114, or fill out the contact form on this site.